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Riverboat Named Desire

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Blurb

"The riverboat Desire was once a floating bordello with a scandalous reputation, known all over New Orleans. It's a ship that caters to hot, passionate ménage relationships as it follows the path of the moon along the romantic waters of the Delta. The Desire is a rich ship, and La Flame, a notorious jewel thief, is aboard to make the biggest heist of her life until her plans are interrupted by two of the sexiest cowboys she's ever seen.

When she stands before them in quickly dissolving soap bubbles, she thinks they seem like nothing more than two drunken riverboat gamblers who want to make hot, passionate love to her. She doesn't realize that, beneath their lace-edged shirts and diamond stick pins, breathe two rough-talking, rough-riding lawmen.

And she is their prey."

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Prologue
Prologue As she gently pulled the dark netting of her hat away from her face, Lila Palmer stood awed, her gaze traveling upward at the scandalous ship she’d never seen, only heard about. It stood tall, like a queen, her garish bulk shifting idly in the waters at the New Orleans dock. Slowly the woman’s eyes strayed, noticing the name. The Desire. The shocking words stretched lazily across the ship’s hull, the flashy name proudly displaying several naked bodies of both men and women as they languidly intertwined through the suggestive lettering. Flamboyantly decorated, the riverboat that was once a bordello, stood proudly, her twin smokestacks reaching high into the sky, the deep whistle sounding as she was being prepared for sailing. The lurid pictures took her attention for only a moment before she turned away, trying to keep her mind on why she was going aboard. She’d heard all the stories about those who found love on the legendary boat, but she wasn’t looking for love. She turned a deaf ear to the outlandish rumors regarding The Desire’s magical ability to fulfill your most ardent fantasies. She didn’t care how plush the riverboat was, or how beautiful its grand staircases and carpeted lounges were, or even how luxurious the passenger cabins were. She cared about only one thing. She was La Flame, and The Desire was a rich ship—rich enough to make all her dreams come true. * * * * Among the curious crowd stood two cowboys dressed in black. They wore knee-length trail coats, dusty leather boots, and the brim of their dark, western hats hid the secret look that passed between them. “That’s her,” Clint Morgan urgently whispered to his brother Val. “I’d bet my diamond stick pin on it.” He dug into his breast pocket, pulled out a folded paper, and gave it to him. Val unfolded the wanted poster and looked at it closely. The crude drawing was scratched, and the folds crossed her face, making a positive identification difficult. Both compared the drawing with the woman dressed in a burgundy traveling dress, but they were still unsure. Just then, the boat’s loud whistle sounded, followed by the gang plank being lowered onto the dock. “Put it away,” Val urged, refolding it. “I have an idea.” He quickly moved away, elbowing his way through the crowd until he reached the captain. While they talked, Val indicated to the woman in the plumed hat and veil, then reached into his wallet. As he slipped the captain several bills, the captain immediately pulled out his roster and made some changes. “You and your brother have a wonderful trip, sir.” “Thanks, Captain. We intend to do just that.” The minute Val walked up, Clint asked, “What were you talking to the captain about? You didn’t tell him who she is, did you?” “No, I just made arrangements for us to be put in the cabin next to hers” “Did he ask why?” Val chuckled at the question, and shrugged. “Of course not. Why would he? He thinks our interest is…you know.” When he saw the lost look on his brother’s face, he said, “Clint, we’re about to board The Desire. Can’t you use your imagination?” “Oh…yeah.” The crowd began moving, and slowly the two cowboys melted into the swarming crowd that walked up the gangplank and onto the deck of the ship. Sightseers watched as the gangplank was finally removed. The captain pulled a rope that sounded the last whistle to usher the ship out of the New Orleans harbor.

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